(1979)

Critic Reviews

91

Metascore

Based on 11 critic reviews provided by Metacritic.com
100
Breaking Away is a wonderfully sunny, funny, goofy, intelligent movie that makes you feel about as good as any movie in a long time.
100
The cast is unknown, the director has a spotty history, and the basic premise falls into this year's most hackneyed category (unknown boxer/ bowler/jogger hopes to become sports hero). Even so, the finished product is wonderful. Here is a movie so fresh and funny it didn't even need a big budget or a pedigree.
90
NPR
The way the movie handles cycling, which isn't one of cinema's more heavily covered sports, introduces another entire dimension and transforms Breaking Away from a nice character piece to a literally breathtaking story.
90
Class conflict and small town chauvinism are the subject of Yates' ingenious youth movie, a film which intrigues as much by its portait of working-class America bitterly opposed to the affluent society as by its large measure of lovingly-crafted fantasy.
90
There are a few moments when the picture's easygoing pace turns into wobbliness, but these are insignificant compared with its many moments of shrewd insight into the lives of amusingly shaded but very recognizable human beings. This is the kind of small, star less film that big studios sometimes do not know what to do with. Audiences should have no such difficulty. They will, if they have any sense, simply cherish it.
90
Washington Post
A lucid depiction of familiar adolescent uncertainties and social tensions in an authentic mid-american setting, the movies is affectionate but never sappy, neat but never overcalculated, unobjectionable but never innocuous. It leaves a positive, heartening impression, dramatically earned and emotionally justified. [02 Aug 1979, p.F1]
80
Breaking Away is a very funny and touching story about love, growing up, bicycle racing, and class consciousness.
80
Though its plot wins no points for originality, Breaking Away is a thoroughly delightful light comedy, lifted by fine performances from Dennis Christopher and Paul Dooley. The story is nothing more than a triumph for the underdog through sports, this time cycle racing.
80
Peter Yates, previously typed as an action director (Bullitt, The Deep), lends the film a fine, unexpected limpidity, and the principals are mostly excellent.
80
Washington Post
Breaking Away is a film with a happy and intelligent imagination, crediting the American teenager with more inventiveness than a more mean-spirited popular culture would admit, these conflicts have a charming originality. [03 Aug 1979, p.27]

More Critic Reviews

See all external reviews for Breaking Away (1979) »

See also

Awards | FAQ | User Reviews | User Ratings | External Reviews